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Federal data shows alarming increase in fatal truck accidents

North Carolina truck drivers may be alarmed to learn that the year-over-year number of large trucks in fatal crashes around the country increased by 8 percent in 2015 according to figures released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The data reveals that 4,050 trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds were involved in 3,598 fatal accidents in 2015. Increases were observed in both the total number of fatal crashes and the number of deadly accidents per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks and buses.

While only 1 percent of the 415,000 crashes involving large trucks that were reported to law enforcement in 2015 resulted in lives being lost, 20 percent of them left road users injured. More than half of the commercial truck accidents studied by the FMCSA involved two vehicles, but single-vehicle crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists were the most deadly according to the agency.

The 667 truck occupants killed in traffic accidents in 2015 represents a 2 percent increase over 2014 figures. Truck drivers accounted for the overwhelming majority of these fatalities. Excessive speed is often a factor in deadly truck accidents, but the FMCSA report reveals that only one in four of the deadly truck accidents that occurred in 2015 took place on interstate highways.

When road users are injured in truck accidents caused by negligence, experienced personal injury attorneys may pursue civil remedies on their behalf against either the drivers or the owners of the commercial vehicles involved. Truck drivers may face litigation when accidents are caused by distraction, fatigue, impairment or reckless driving, and trucking companies could be sued when poor maintenance, defective parts or inadequate oversight played a role. When preparing this type of lawsuit, attorneys may study accident reports, driving records and violations histories to establish a pattern of negligent behavior.

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